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Shifts - Vertonen 9
CD-R (Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

-vertonen 9

Shifts: Frans de Waard

(Improvijazzation Nation no. 71) I somehow am getting an impression of sitting in a dentist's chair, long after the laughing gas set in... only this dentist is operating on one of the planets in the next galaxy, on a set of teeth nearly as large as the Lincoln Memorial (with ol' Abe as just ONE of the teeth). Drone, pure & simple, nearly 71 minutes of it, in fact. The intent, it seems, is much the same as laughing gas... to put you in that outer zone, where little matters, & all you can think of is nothing. From that standpoint, this would make a great CD for Zen meditations, or intergalactic starship mood music. Very calming, with very subtle shades of colors that you never can quite put a name to. If you're driving through the Sonoran desert - do NOT spin this... you'll have a serious accident! If, OTOH, you need something that will carry you on a journey you may not want to return from (all that soon) - this IS the TICKET. I give this a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - Rotcod Zzaj

(Touching Extremes 10/17/2004) Frans De Waard's "Shifts" project is surely one of the best showcases for his talents. Developing a net of deeply resonating, ear-affecting electronic pulses Frans goes straight to the core of the experiment, lulling the subject in front of the speakers in a precise scheme of hypnotic continuums that evolve gradually yet almost cluelessly on our side. The best asset of "Vertonen 9" is its powerful capability of filling not only your head but your whole house with crowds of strange hums and moans; just try to go somewhere else during the reproduction and what sounded like a rumble will appear there too, like the shadow of a mermaid. This is one of those cases where the imagery of sounds can both be observed and kept undercurrent: the excellence remains just the same. - Massimo Ricci

(Vital Weekly no. 461) The new release by Shifts, a sideproject of Frans de Waard takes us on a 70-minute journey. From beginning to the end we hear a fast pulsating sound in the forefront. In the background slower cylces of atmospheric sounds come and go. In fact 'journey' is not a correct metaphor. It suggests development, starting a point A and slowly progressing towards a climax. But that?s not where Vertonen 9 is about. As other Shifts releases this one showes de Waards love for pure sound. And it?s on this aspect that he built his music. If you share this love, you will enjoy this one, because de Waard has a good taste for sounds. The sounds he creates are carefully chosen and contain an intrincic richness that is revealed when you listen attentively. Its because of this quality that I have no problem in listening to it from start to finish, and even enjoying it. The work as a whole impresses because of its consistent sticking to one idea for some 70 minutes. He is not afraid to give the sounds time to last. He creates an immense space for a limited set of sounds that are simply there. - Dolf Mulder

(Aiding & Abetting #259) One long, long (70 minutes long!) excursion towards the electronic noise frontier. Fans of the stuff (like me) will sit still for the duration, but that's probably because we've already destroyed all our brain cells. Ah well. I never turn down a good trip, and this one was a doozy. - Jon Worley

(Foxy Digitalis) This is a bold statement, or is it anymore? The time stretched cicada slowly eats its young, regurgitates, breathes digital karmal crème and burrows deeper into the souls of empty stars. We hear it all happen in an hour stretch of a second, a skipping projector on the eyelid between the time of an erect conscious and the ensuing head wound fall to the carpet. Structural in its stretch of disc burn, microscopic in its persona and passion, lethargic in its commitment to statement or comment: this is post-ambient, no-age, crystal shattering mind-humping. But it pulls at the resources of my word bank and I say hooray for that! - Michael Kaufman

(Ampersand Etcetera 7/2005) I could (and have) played this over and over. A 70 minute drone pulse minimal piece from Frans de Waard, this slowly seductively and almost imperceptively draws you into it. A fluttering pulse, rumbles heard from the corner of your ear, long descending tones, a distant wind down a long tunnel, realisation of change, it slips between figure and ground, merging with your electronic environment and adding those sounds to its envelope. Absolutely gorgeous. - Jeremy Keens

(Dream no. 6) Frans de Waard of Beequeen offers us over 70 minutes of highly hypnotic uninterrupted droning atmosphere. There is the distinct sensation of being inside of something vast that is either moving through intergalactic space, or perhaps it’s slowly exploring the depths of the ocean. There are layers of shimmering shivering sound over this distant roar. We could be inside of a hydroelectric power plant, or a submarine. This is not static, though it moves like ice slowly thawing; there are passages that might be distant subways rumbling, or choirs of terrifying angels howling. This is a lot like some of the spacious eerie desolation of some of the more ambient passages of the Eraserhead soundtrack, without the Fats Waller levity to awaken the somnambulist. - George Parsons

(Neo-Zine) There is one track, it is over one hour long. This is slow, yet not exactly droning soft noise/ ambient experimentation. You might become confused waiting for this thing to “pick up.” It’s not that kind of CD. You have to do some of the work here. The good news is, that the “work” may be as easy as leaning back, closing your eyes, and letting the music and your imagination romp around while you supervise. This CD is subtle. If you lose track of it, it can blend in with the atmosphere (but your outlook on said atmosphere may change quite a bit.) I find it a bit misty and mysterious, dark and cold, and a bit futuristic or beyond present human experience. Now you try. - CHC

(Dead Angel No. 6) One track and seventy minutes of rumbling, corrosive drone-noise. (If you're wondering about the "9" in the title, it appears there are a great many different versions of "Vertonen" available from Shifts... or perhaps it's simple a series name. The Shifts discography includes a number of them, up to 22.) Shifts is a side-project of Frans de Waard of Beequeen, in which he explores sound and texture using guitars exclusively. The result comes in the form of shuddering drones, gritty ambience, and textures that shift and mutate. It's the kind of album best experienced in the background or while doing something else, so the drones can just wash over you and unfold at a stately pace; up close, it's probably too minimal for most, but from a distance it makes a nice ambient album. It's hard to imagine such ethereal and rumbling sounds coming from an abused guitar, but there it is -- and there's plenty of it, too. Beequeen fans and devotees of pure, minimalist drone guitar should look into this. - RKF

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